Grant at a Glance
With a few clicks, users can access trend data for selected Michigan fish populations. Thanks to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) Fisheries Division, the Stream Fish Population Trend Viewer makes gathering this type of information easier and more accessible. With the viewer, users can simply get online to access information about fish population trends in specific rivers and streams that serve as fixed data-collecting sites for the MDNR. The viewer holds information on more than 40 inland waterways, including Bear Creek, the Huron River, the Manistee River, and the Pere Marquette River. Fish species the viewer tracks are brown trout, smallmouth bass, coho salmon, rainbow trout, and brook trout.
The Stream Fish Population Trend Viewer was developed to serve as a simple, centralized location for users to get up-to-date information on regional and local fish trends. The map-based displays were designed to be interactive, allowing users to pick the fish species they want to view, instead of going through biologists at the MDNR Fisheries Division.
The project team took data previously collected from the MDNR Fisheries Division, compiled it, and put it online—which is not as simple as it may sound. The process happened over the course of two years. Troy Zorn of MDNR Fisheries Division served as the project manager for the research, and his team worked with a number of resources to make the trend viewer come to life.
Most of the data came from the Status and Trends Program (STP), a statewide inventory effort used to monitor and document long-term fish population and habitat trends. Zorn and his team collected STP data that goes back more than 40 years and incorporated it into the trend viewer. The team then worked with software developers from Michigan State University’s Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems center to create the trend viewer. Development efforts were coordinated with Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget staff, which put the trend viewer on State of Michigan servers.
The Results Are In…
The Stream Fish Population Trend Viewer is a tool that enables users to be more knowledgeable about trends in the Michigan stream fish populations. It’s a do-it-yourself alternative to getting this type of information from biologists. Now that information is put into the public’s hands, biologists can use the time saved to focus on other areas of their jobs.
What Does It All Mean?
Now that the Stream Fish Population Trend Viewer is in place, the MDNR Fisheries Division will use the results from its STP to annually update the trend viewer. The viewer standardizes data so people are able to run their own analysis and also increases users’ knowledge of the STP fixed-site survey program. One of the MDNR Fishery Division’s goals is to make this kind of technology a standard practice to serve anglers, nonprofits, agencies, and tribes.